The National Marketing Manager for Australia’s largest softwood processing business has joined the Responsible Wood Board.
Christine Briggs, a non-executive director of Forest and Wood Products Australia, was appointed to the board at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Processing more than 2 million cubic metres of sawlog and producing more than 1 million cubic metres of timber products annually, it is one of the largest Chain of Custody members certified under the Responsible Wood certification scheme.
Ms Briggs now joins the board chaired by Dr Tony Barlett and includes Dr Kerrie Catchpoole (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries), Mark Thomson, Michael O’Connor (CFMEU), Katie Fowden (Hyne Timber), David Little (NTHA), Stuart West (Forest Products Commission WA) and Mark Guthier (HVP Plantations).
Coinciding with the AGM, Responsible Wood published its Annual Review of Activities.
It revealed that certified forest area had increased by 3.6% to 20.4 million hectares, with Responsible Wood-certified forest area now making up more than 7% of PEFC’s global forest area.
More than 90% of Australia’s commercial forests are now certified under the Responsible Wood scheme, one of the highest rates of certified forest areas anywhere in the world, and supports Australia’s continued push to drive reforestation.
In addition, Responsible Wood also grew its Chain of Custody reach in Australia and New Zealand, where it manages the PEFC-endorsed scheme on behalf of the New Zealand Forest Forest Certification Association.
According to the report, Responsible Wood’s Chain of Custody certified number stood at 363, now the highest level since the scheme started in 2004.
Reflecting on the review’s release, Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries said, “We are proud of our progress over the past year. Our commitment to promoting sustainable forestry practices and responsible wood sourcing through our globally recognised standards remains strong.”
That includes Accounting for Ecosystem Services with Responsible Wood, which announced in August that, for the first time, it will allow ecosystem service certification under the joint Australian and New Zealand Standards for Sustainable Forest Management (AS/NZS 4708).
Mr Dorries said Responsible Wood certified companies can now claim “the full range of values and benefits which forests provide to society, not just responsibly sourced forest products.”
Fabiano Ximenes attended the AGM from the NSW Department of Primary Industries who presented the latest findings from his forest carbon research.
In addition, PEFC Asia Pacific Manager Richard Laity, who was in Australia for the Asia-Pacific Forest Commissioners Meeting, spoke about the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II.
PEFC is taking a leadership role in developing a new Pan Pacific Forest Standard, which could see the region protect more than 2 million hectares of forest area and provide the Asia Pacific region with access to more than AU $1 billion of certified forest products.
During the AGM, Responsible Wood Chair Dr Tony Bartlett thanked “dedicated staff, fellow directors, certificate holders, and our valued members.”
“It’s through our collective efforts that we continue to make strides in promoting sustainable forestry and the responsible sourcing of forest products.”
“Together, we are making a meaningful impact on our industry, the environment and regional forestry communities.”